The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 three-year-old Thoroughbreds and a points system determines eligibility, with a series of 35 select races awarding points on a sliding scale to the top four finishers. The point values increase as we get closer to the first Saturday in May.

We are currently in the Prep Season portion of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 basis. The complete schedule of scoring races can be found here.

The Holiday Weekend of January 17-19 offered a pair of scoring events, the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds and Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

International Star captured the Lecomte, pocketing the 10-point winner’s share, and War Story garnered 4 points for his runner-up finish. Tiznow R J picked up 2 points finishing third, and Another Lemon Drop received 1 point in fourth.

International Star vaulted to second on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with a total of 22 points. He had previously earned 10 winning the Grey Stakes last October and a point for his fourth in November’s Kentucky Jockey Club.

Far Right, who earned 2 points finishing third in the Delta Jackpot Stakes last November, improved his total to 12 with a victory in the Smarty Jones. Bayerd earned his first 4 points finishing second, and Mr. Z, who had placed in three previous scoring races, received another 2 points in third, increasing his ledger to 12. Private Prospect netted his first point with a fourth-place showing.

For more details on these prep races, and a look ahead to the lone scoring race this coming weekend, Saturday’s $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, please check out my Kentucky Derby Report at